Assault and Battery: Legal Considerations  

        Assault and battery are facts of the society. We constantly hear news of celebrities slapping or hitting paparazzi or law enforcement officers who stop them while they are driving.

        Although people think that assault and battery one and they the same, they are usually distinct from one another. An assault is an attempt at battery, while battery is a completed assault. Sounds confusing? Well, it can be. Let us take an example. A few years ago Hollywood actor Russell Crowe was charged with assault and battery. He threw his mobile phone at a clerk working in a hotel. The phone hit the clerk. Here the act of throwing the phone is assault, while the battery occurred after the phone hit the clerk. This basically means that assault can occur without battery occurring, while a battery cannot occur without an assault.

        All the states in the US have laws against assault and battery. However, for a person to get convicted for assault, the prosecutor has to show the intent of harming, but there should not be any harm. On the other hand, even if a person is touched during an assault and is not harmed or injured, the perpetrator can be convicted of battery. A good example of this would be to kick someone on the shins when you are barefooted and the other person is wearing knee length boots. Although the person wearing the boots is not hurt or harmed, the person kicking can be convicted of battery.

        Both assault and battery are considered as misdemeanors when the case is simple. However, both are still punishable. Usually, a person convicted will have to pay a fine as stipulated by the laws and service a jail time of up to 6 months in a county jail. However, depending on the extent of injury caused to the victim, the degree of the punishment changes. Nonetheless, if a person uses force for assault and battery and causes grievous injuries, the crime becomes a felony. However, if there are different degrees of assault and battery, then a person can be charged separately for each felony crime. 

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